People living in the Camden and Primrose Hill areas are being urged to make their mark on five graffiti textile song chairs that have been installed across the area as part of a unique project combining traditional English folk arts and contemporary crafts.
The chairs have been placed in Primrose Hill Community Library, St Mark’s Church in Regent’s Park, the Camden Collective’s pop up shop C159 Camden High Street, and our HQ Cecil Sharp House in Regent’s Park Road as part of the English Folk Dance and Song Society’s (EFDSS) latest artist commission, Yan Tan Tethera.
Free workshops will take place at Primrose Hill Community Library on 16 June, 12 - 2pm and during the Camden New Town Community Festival in Camden Square on 20 July when anyone can embroider their favourite textiles inspired song title or lyric into the upholstery. Mr X Stitch, aka Jamie Chalmers, will be leading additional two hour workshops at each location (details are available from individual venues and keep an eye on our website for event announcements).
People stitching at C159 - Camden Collective’s HQ as part of the wonderful Camden Create Festival
Chairs have also been placed at a sheltered housing scheme and Maiden Lane Community Centre in Camden with residents and visitors encouraged to stitch away.
All the material will be provided and stitchers are encouraged to share photos of their contribution via Twitter with the hashtag #textilefolk.
The chairs will feature in the project’s culminating event at Cecil Sharp House, Spin Cycle, on 25 September.
Yan Tan Tethera is a season of performances, events, workshops and an exhibition at and around Cecil Sharp House that is being curated by sonic visual artist David Littler. Yan Tan Tethera – which is a traditional sheep counting rhyme used predominantly in the north of England as well as a way to count stitches in knitting – is exploring folk songs and dances that have emanated from, and been inspired by, England’s textiles industry and explores the connection between the making of textiles and song.
"I hope that having the graffiti textile song chairs in such public areas will inspire people to stitch a little bit of their own creativity into the project. It doesn’t matter how handy you are with a needle and thread – anyone can have a go!
"The chairs will be in place until September 24 during the normal opening hours of each venue so there is plenty of time for people to take part."
David Littler - sonic visual artist and curator of Yan Tan Tethera
Other Yan Tan Tethera at Cecil Sharp House events include an exhibition (until 25 September) and an evening of performances from adult learning participants, Spinning Yarns on 5 July.
The project is being supported by the National Lottery through Arts Council England.